Goodbye! Good Riddance!

leaving

OK, time for a fun blog … Sharing Your Deconversion Experience!

I know many of you have already provided your stories here and there, but that doesn’t make them any less potent. And besides, it’s a nice reminder that you made a very wise decision when you threw off the shackles of fear and foreboding about your eternal destiny.

Not only that — when you describe the events/situations/feelings that caused you to finally remove the Cloak of Guilt, it reinforces the fact that you made one of the best decisions of your life!

So tell us. What prompted you to “walk away?” Did it happen almost instantly – like a burst of insight? Or did it take weeks/months/years before you finally recognized that the so-called “joyous” way of life was most definitely not what it was cracked up to be?

I know for some people, it was a painful experience, so if you would prefer to simply ignore this post, that’s most definitely O.K.

However, if you feel it might add to your healing, I’m pretty certain you will find yourself in sympathetic and understanding company.

Finally, if you are still “in the fold” and believe, by sharing your faith and trust in a spacy entity said to exist somewhere “out there,” you will influence/affect/redirect those who have moved on to a happier and more contented way of life — Be Forewarned you may be in for one hellava ride!

So now, with all that said, it’s time for all you deconverts to GO FOR IT!

33 thoughts on “Goodbye! Good Riddance!

  1. Most of you (my WP friends) know by now I was never a total believer. I wasn’t dragged to church like most kids, we just didn’t go. There was always talk of god as if it was a real thing, but darn little of it. Just mentioned in passing, or the kids I was hanging with would mention one as if it was real, so I assumed maybe there was a god out there somewhere, but I hadn’t seen one yet. My sceptic started at an early age.

    One day I assume my step dad had been invited by co-workers and it was wise to go, so we got gussied up and went to church. Well me being a young brat, I got separated from the parents and shuffled off to Sunday school. There I met several kids around my age, it’s been a while, I’ve eaten and slept a few times since, but I believe I was around 8-9 years old.

    Well, I was a nerdy science minded kid. I was a smart kid in school. Smarter than most. But there was always these two other guys who had super nerd status and I never could quite get as good grades as they did, and boy I tried. But that’s alright I did well. But I had the other rough and rowdy side too, that they lacked. I hung out with the rambunctious bunch, and I could hold my own with the nerds. One of those nerds was a very good friend of mine for some time. Anyway…

    I was there at this place they called Sunday school. A handful of kids about. The adult walks in and oh boy! We have a new kid! So hey new kid, how much do you know about god? I explained as politely as I could I was a noob in that department. I immediately felt the air whoosh out of the room, because the other kids knew this would start at the beginning.

    So, it was explained to me that god had created the heavens, the earth, day and night, and then a day or two later created stars. Well I wasn’t a damn dummy, so I was confused, and this being Sunday “school” I thought I’d raise my hand and ask a question. So I did.

    Well the woman looked at me like “what the hell?” and she finally asked me what it was I wanted. I asked her how did god create day and night before he created the stars. The sun is a star and it is our light. Well that woman’s face turned as red as a hot rod Camaro, and she got up and stomped/fumed her way out the door, never to return. On her way out she told us to color in the coloring books.

    Later in the car on the way home, my mom asked me how it went? I explained as best I could what had happened, she was quiet. Never said another word to me about going to church. We never went back.

    Well I grew up with my peers, always mentioning this god thing, and I still hadn’t seen one, so I just didn’t bother making conversation about it.

    I grew into my late teens and we had moved to Tn. She had remarried by this time. And the people they made friends with were church going types, and they were asked to go. They did. I had little interest and did not go for some time. But we did hang with those folks a lot, they were/are very good people, and having got to know them a bit I decided to go to church. I went for a while, the comraderie was pleasant, the people nice enough. But many of the things I was hearing in the sermons just didn’t make any damn sense to me. I found myself often, squirming in my seat at something the preacher had just said, and instead of feeling how I did, the people were saying amen almost in unision.

    As time went by, I started seeing cracks in the foundation. These fine church going folks would say things out of hand, like one day, a guy in casual conversation said “they ought to round up all the atheists and shoot them” Well, my thought was that’s a bit harsh. But is stuck with me.

    Plus I’d see these god fearing babble thumping people, weren’t always so godly. They all did or said things that I didn’t see so pleasant, or godly. The preacher kept saying stuff that I figured to be insane, and those people swallowed it up with amens.

    I tried. I really did. But one day I just quit going and never went back. It seemed to me the one closest to their gods must have actually thought their gods weren’t paying much attention to them, because they all figured they could get away with things that were presented as conditions good x-ian folks shouldn’t be doing. The hypocrisy shone through.

    Later in my life, with the internet and a computer, I was able to catch a few blogs, Pharyngula, The Panda’s Thumb, Why Evolution is True, and the the things they said resonated. I found talkorigins.org and started snooping around. Learning the kind of answers to my questions, that finally made sense.

    The 29 Evidences of Evolution was my turning point. After I had read it for at least the third time (it is quite deep) I knew that whatever wisp of the gods that was clinging to my conscience, was destroyed. I had found my place in the universe.

    And it was good.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    P.S. I am convinced, that every butt in every pew, no matter how pious, is a damn hypocrite at some level. Been there. Done that.

    Liked by 8 people

    • My husband and I were Sunday school teachers for a bit and one kid asked us why god put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the serpent in the garden if he knew full well what was going to happen. Out of the mouths of babes…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed. Kids have a way of cutting to the quick, all the while bathed in innocence.

        Too often, honest inquisitiveness, gets hammered out of them before they get a good chance to wield it deftly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just got through your entire deconversion story. All I can say is… wow! That was one heck of a journey.

        Welcome to the other side.

        I think you already know the many aspects of life we can enjoy without being tied to a religion. They are much the same, we just have no need to invoke gods as the reason why we can enjoy our lives. In fact I believe it’s quite liberating having left religion in the dustbin.

        You and Nan ought to have a lot in common. You two should get together over drinks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. i never had anything to ‘de-convert’ from. i grew up in a family that thought Christmas was a winter holiday. but i can tell you about my ‘conversion’ story😁

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reading. The more I read, especially about ancient religions, the more I realized that Christianity is just another dying god cult. I personally don’t have a problem with that but the “one true God” “one true religion” people nauseate me.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Hi Nan,

    Instead of trying to briefly and concisely answer your main question, answering it poorly at that 😉 , I thought I would simply share two of my own blog-posts which sum up my Deconversion from the myth of Christianity. My Deconversion also includes those Faith-Followers™ who have always challenged me and my Deconversion as merely “religious,” cold and not a personal, living, thriving, daily relationship with “God/Jesus.” They could not be further from the truth! But then again, my Deconversion story does threaten the intelligence and reasoning of THEIR (blind) Faith and world-view. Hence, they attack me, understandably, and my story in all possible ways. They take it very personally, my Deconversion story.

    Here are my two blog-posts, if I may. 🙂

    https://professortaboo.com/2018/03/10/the-incarnation-of-g-man/

    And…

    https://professortaboo.com/2019/09/07/christ-the-roman-ruse/

    If you find you have no free-time to read those two (lengthy?) posts, basically my Deconversion was during my third year in Seminary, working toward my Master’s degree, when one simple question—so I THOUGHT it was simple and critically important for the veracity of Christianity’s Gospels!—was presented to me from a good friend and fellow footballer (soccer player) that the Holy Scriptures could not answer. Nor could any professors at my Seminary or renown Christian scholars such as R.C. Sproul of Ligionier Ministries and professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, my seminary. What was the simple question that began the total collapse? It was…

    If Jesus is/was the only Son of God, with astounding mind-boggling pre-birth, birth, and adolescent stories about him and his “prophecies” and “miracles,” then how is it logically possible for him to completely vanish for 17-years with Roman authorities and informants looking for ANY would-be (rebel, treasonous) Kings to the Emperor? How is that even possible, and supposedly RIGHT UNDER THE ROMAN EMPIRE’S NOSE!!!?

    Yeah, right. That dog won’t hunt, as we sometimes say here in Texas. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  5. It took me until the age of 5 years to realize that the adults had no clue about anything, for they couldn’t answer a single of my “why” or “how” questions. They just had this vague … “just because” answer to everything I asked. And so, I concluded it was another fantasy along the lines of the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and others they like to tell children. I grew up with on Jewish parent and one Catholic parent and even the two of them had differing stories. So, I was never actually a believer anyway.

    Then, I married a man who was a rather casual protestant … he wasn’t, at the time we married, particularly devout, but one of his uncles told me shortly after we were married that I must convert to their religion and then they could forgive me for being a Catholic and a Jew! Well, that was my final straw and my relationship with his relatives, except his parents, was never to be the same again! I am a non-believer and make no apologies to anyone. I respect others’ right to believe as they wish, until they try to shove their fairy-tale crap down my throat, and then …. LOOK OUT!

    Liked by 6 people

    • At the age of five, I was just learning to sing Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E, That’s The Book For Me.

      But I can still remember the little single-fold leaflet with The Good Shepherd in his blue and red robes, which were our Sunday school lessons.

      Damn.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amazing how that stuff sticks with you, isn’t it? And that is exactly what they’re counting on when they “indoctrinate” the little ones.

        Fortunately, my conversion came as an adult, so it was much easier to break away once I started using my brain instead of my “spiritual” emotions.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, it is Nan. That was about 75 years ago, in my case. Seeing how effective that indoctrination is, it is easy to imagine what our society would look like if education was left in the hands of religious zealots. only the revelations of science have saved us.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I was into Christianity for around 12 years, starting at age 11.

    I took Christianity to be based on the teachings of Jesus. After around 3-4 years of that, it became increasingly evident that Christianity was mostly a society of religious hypocrites. And that’s when I started questioning. I began to doubt the miracles. Then I began to doubt the resurrection. And then I began to doubt the divinity of Jesus. By then, there was nothing left, so I left.

    At the point of leaving, I did ask myself whether a billion Christians could be so wrong. But then I realized that if millions of Mormons could all be wrong, then yes the Christians could all be wrong.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. For me, it took years. My family attended church but more as a social function rather than religious worship. The Bible was the last place we looked for “answers” to any issue. Once in college I stopped going to church, and no one had any problem with that. I held on to a vague and hazy notion of God and some sort of ill-defined afterlife.

    A relationship roughly fourteen years ago with a Christian Fundamentalist precipitated the end of my belief. A year into that relationship and I found myself being forced to state “what I believed.” She had told me I was literally going to burn in hell for voting for Obama. She wanted to know how could I have done such a thing. By the time I finished “stating my case,” my relationship with the woman and Christianity was finished.

    I am still grateful to the woman whose intolerance compelled me to vocalize what had been building inside of me for years: that Christianity was nothing more than a well funded mythology weaponized via State and Corporate interests in order to control the masses and to exploit weaker nation states.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. As a teenager I had been really active at a liberal protestant church – I was the kid who did everything, and I had a really good time there. Too busy to think much about the beliefs. We weren’t literalists, we didn’t worry too much about hell, there was no fire and brimstone or altar calls or speaking in tongues or such nonsense. But they had told me I should read the bible, so I did, cover to cover, in the Good News version. (I’m such a completionist!) Then I decided to read the KJV, cover to cover too. I had also spent my teen years reading mountains of SF, with all of those dangerous ideas. And I watched Cosmos, and read Sagan and Bronowski and Asimov.

    In college I majored in Physics, and my universe got bigger but religion stayed small. I was reading great books from thinkers on both sides of the religion question. And in college I ran headlong into the various tribes of self-righteous fundies, and the crazy campus preachers.

    It all gradually clicked, and it was mostly a slow realization that “This is all fiction!” instead of a sudden epiphany. Nothing earth-shattering, no desperate prayers to hang on to belief. By the time I graduated I was done with “faith” and done with religion.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Where is your story, Nan? If anyone does not know mine, they are new to this site, and I apologize to them, but suffice it to say, though I was super-Christian as a kid because I was taught to believe everything I was told, it was easier to believe nothing than to believe everything. A lot of what I was told was contradictory.
    Yes, I know your story, but I think it only fair you tell your story again. Tit for tat, and all that rot.

    Like

    • I thought about adding a “P.S.” to my post to point out that my story can be found in my book. Then I decided against it as I know many of my regulars have read it … and I didn’t want the post to be thought of as a “commercial.” I truly wanted it to be an opportunity for others to share. Plus I hoped a believer or two might visit and “see the light.” 😈

      Liked by 2 people

  10. “Your Honor, I object. Nan is leading the witness.” Such loaded questions.

    My “deconversion” is really me openly saying, “Yes. I’m an atheist.” Since all of this goes into a memoir I’m writing (don’t hold your breath), I will provide three quick things.

    I was teaching an adult religious education class at my church on the topic, “The Problem with Evil” when, at the end, one lady asked me, “How do you reconcile all that you just told us with what you believe about God and religion?” Oops! Busted!

    A second event was at work when I said in conversation with a close coworker (who was raised Mormon but had stopped that), “I just don’t believe it.” He asked, “You don’t believe what?” I said, “Any of it. I don’t believe any of it.” He said, “You’re just like my dad (to this day, Mike calls me “Dad”). His father was a life-long Mormon convert who never saw the light and admitted as much shortly before his death.

    The third thing is best explained by George Carlin in this comedy bit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iUo1WgIjQ0 (it’s 8 minutes long, but the first two make my case)

    I am not angry, not recovering to what religion did to me, but I do know a lot. I think I understand more. My wife claims she and I know too much because of all our years of deep involvement with “church.”

    But Carlin says it best for himself and the same holds true for me. 🙂 Happy Sunday, y’all.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school from first to fourth grade, then Sunday school to supplement my ongoing public school years. As a kid, I kind of separated the two worlds, like, there was the “School World” where science and stuff mattered, and the “Religion World,” where magic stuff happened a long time ago but never again.

    I started to suspect BS in first or second grade when they’d bring in a priest for Q and A. I asked that if God created the world in seven days, where did the dinosaurs fit in? (I was totally into dinosaurs and was fascinated by the skeletons at the local museum.) He said, “Well, no one knows how long a day was back then,” which I knew to be a BS answer even at that young age.

    Another time, I asked what Jesus’s last name was. The priest told me, “Christ.” Another BS answer. When I asked my Mom later that afternoon, she gave me a much more plausible answer, which was that people back then were named after their fathers. Jesus would have been Jesus of Joseph. I wondered if the priest didn’t know, or didn’t think it was worth his time to explain. Either way, those two questions sat badly with me and from then on I questioned if the priests and nuns were really as all-knowing as they presented themselves to be.

    All that just set the table. What made forced the break came in 1979 when I was 17 and the movie “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” came out. I didn’t know anything about them but I heard they made a movie the Church didn’t like, which piqued my interest. So shortly after that, we were visiting my Grandparents and thus had to go to church with them on Sunday. The priest gave a rip-roaring sermon about how we were not to see the movie that he called, “Brian is Alive.” Right off, that told me that A) he hadn’t seen the movie himself and B) he must have been ordered to cover this topic by higher church officials. Either way, I knew he didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.

    And the big objection? The movie’s message was for people to think for themselves. I was like, “What’s the freaking problem?” I sat there fuming about it in silent rage. That was the moment I formally declared to myself, “This is bullshit. I’m out.”

    Then at my soonest convenience, I ran out to see the movie, which spun me off into a lifetime of appreciating the work of the Monty Python crew. But I saw what the Church was upset about. It didn’t seem like an important religious matter; more like panicking about the loss of power and influence. That was just another nail for the coffin lid. I was done.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I want to start this by congratulating all those who never had to tangle with all those ‘windmills’, as it were. I envy them/you and the apparent self-awareness described by some at very early stages. As Mary plumbago expressed it “I was never … and have never been religious in the slightest.” Yes. Consider yourself lucky. Most of the rest of us were spoonfed the Christian story along with our Pablum and Strained Prunes. Feel free to chide me for being duped because I chide those who also suffered my fate: you should have known better, but we didn’t.

    Like silverapplequeen and Nan, I studied my way out of religion. The purpose of my study, though, was not to disprove Christianity but to prove and reinforce the idea. I was leading Bible Study groups. I was buying all the important books. The lexicons, the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin language bible versions, and the Quran in English of course. I could not let a question go unanswered. But behind all this was my notion that none of the various and sundry denominations, congregations, and cults were doing Christianity right. I was out to prove what Christian worship should look like. Earnestly.

    I went from one church to another, trying to make people see that we could not combine the two covenants. The New supplanted the Old Testament. You cannot combine ‘The Law’ and ‘the faiths to which the law could never attain.’ There is where my study was centered. For certain I was never in danger of becoming a Calvinist, but my arrogance, my self-importance, and my conviction that all the seminary students were far less educated than myself was an obvious part of my character. Or lack thereof. Can I say ‘obnoxious ass?’

    Education. There was no particular moment that I said eff it all. At one time I despised people like Charles Darwin with every fiber of my being. (Well, I thought so because that is what I was taught.) Now he is one of my darlings. We didn’t have computers and the internet, these wonderful tools we have now that we can examine any literature from any time period in any language, and we don’t have to learn the languages!!! But the slow exchange of fantasy for reality makes it so easy to lay aside what once seemed so important.

    My reality went from “the world is 6000 years old from Adam” to “I’m not sure we can ever see the limits of our universe or the beginning of time.” It was a process of several years. When I realized I had been trying to prove something that did not exist, I began to wonder if I ever really believed it.

    My opinion now is that the world would be so much better off without religion.

    I never called a family meeting to declare I no longer believed in any religion but when it arose in conversations, I pointed it out if necessary. When I informed my youngest son, he is in his mid-fifties, he asked me if I am a Communist. This from a man who was last in church when he sat on my knee.

    All of us who were taught Christianity from the cradle up, have a very similar experience as far as ridding ourselves of the condition. I am especially proud of those who were aware early on that they were being fed some serious bs. Good on you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My opinion now is that the world would be so much better off without religion.

      Somehow I tend to think there are a few thousand (million?) individuals who agree with you. Do you think if we were to “pray about it” that it might happen? 😈😛😄

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funeee!

        Thanx.
        One thing prayer accomplishes is that it keeps some of those people who are going to do nothing out of the way of those who are trying.

        “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”
        Voltaire

        “The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.”
        Matthew Arnold

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am not so sure. Human beings seem very able to find ways to discriminate and oppress even without the supernatural. Look at the Official State Religion in the United States: Corporate Financial Capitalism. The vampire squids and sharks and spreadsheet diddlers don’t need supernatural religion to justify their actions. Of course, some of us consider this pure, transcendent FREEEEEE MARKEETTTTTT to be a supernatural entity, but…

        Like

  13. It was a lengthy process for me and one I resisted as long as a could. I wasn’t sure what life without gods would be like, but I was aware of how the people around me viewed people who didn’t share their god-belief. That wasn’t anything I wanted to subject myself to, but I’d come to discover I didn’t have a choice. Once I started asking questions and considering how inadequate the answers were, it became obvious that I no longer believed in gods. I had to admit that to myself eventually.

    Liked by 4 people

    • vjack, I think you’ve hit on something that many have found to be true … that the condemnation of unbelievers is very strong.

      I tend to think there are actually a goodly number of individuals within the ranks of Christianity that would leave in a heartbeat if they could get past the burden of disapproval and censure that other believers put upon them. And it becomes even more difficult when it involves family relationships. What a sorry testimony of the “love” religion.

      I commend you for your final decision.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The guilt trip is their major means of retaining membership. The answers are inadequate because they must be pulled from the nether regions.

      I hope you are enjoying your life without crutches and anchors.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My parents were not really churched. I think largely they couldn’t be bothered. Plus we were relatively poor and they felt embarrassed by the lack of fancy clothing. Or at least that was their excuse.

    But, some years during our pre-teen period we were sent to the Nazarene Church “Summer Bible School”. In high school, I worked after school in a local restaurant that was half hard core stoner/druggie and half religious fanatic. And I attended the madrassa of choice, Bible Baptist Church on Wayne Trace in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    It never took all that deeply. I think partly because I was simply too lazy and uninspired to do the required things like memorizing the Bible, evangelizing, etc. I just sort of drifted away during the latter years of college and after. And then the Internet over the past decade or two turned me into the raging, raving misotheist you read today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Nan,
    It’s been so long for me that I guess I don’t realize there are more and more deconverting. It is/was a very very painful and personal issue as you are well aware, I’m sure.

    In a nutshell, I tried to make it make sense. I so wanted it to make sense. The other night my husband said that it is not supposed to make sense, it is meant to be believed. Therein lies the problem.

    My story is here (I know you’ve read it :))
    https://aliceg95.blogspot.com/p/the-story_9.html

    Liked by 2 people

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